What’s the cause of stretch marks?

If there is a feature that characterizes women in the present day, it is arguably beauty concerns. People are provided with plenty of beauty models and guidelines, and appearances - mostly for women, but in some cases for men as well - are praised as one of the most important things in life. The importance of the way we look roots deep into self confidence and self esteem, and also have a practical relevance in human and business relationships. People will treat us different and react different according to what we look like. Also, women are implicitly encouraged to link their beauty to their value as human beings. In consequence, they spend a lot of time, effort and money to try and look as good as possible, by making themselves up and fixing aesthetic issues that could be present on their bodies.

Stretch marks are amongst the most common beauty concerns. Altough they are not exclusively a female issue, they have become one of a woman’s worst aesthetic nightmare, along with cellulitis and face skin marks - crow’s feet, dark spots, acne, etc. Sadly for them, around 90% of women have had or will have stretch marks. But what are them?

Stretch marks are parallel linear scars that appear on the skin, as a consecuence of sudden stretching. The most common places for stretch marks to appear are the belly, thighs and buttocks, but they can also be on breast, arms and other spots. Altough they are associated with pregnancy, any other change in the body that stretches the skin may also cause them. Weight changes and quick height increase during puberty are also common causes, while other events such as breast  binding, or breast enlargement - both natural and surgical -, are less usual but still possible.

Getting rid of stretch marks

Now the question rises: can stretch marks be cured? The first thing that you must know is that you can’t erase them. Once these marks on the skin have appeared, your skin will never be the same. But don’t get disencouraged by this. Stretch marks can fade significantly if you apply the right treatments. Some medication that you get on pharmacies, and also home made remedies, will improve the look of your skin. 

If you want to find a way to fade your stretch marks, you have to understand what specifically causes them in the first place. Your skin is made out of many layers of tissue, which have some level of elasticity. When they stretch beyond that limit, they rip. Stretch marks are the scars caused by those microscopic injuries of your skin layers. Healing them means helping your skin recover and reconstitute.

There are many tips to remove stretch marks that you can take into consideration and also many remedies that you can try. They’re usually about applying topically some substances that will improve moisturization and nutrition of your skin. The egg white plus olive oil method has proven to be effective, though it requires a lot of persistence. Apply whipped egg whites to your skin thrice a day, let it dry off, rinse with water and put on some olive oil. Effects will take quite a long time to show, but they will.

Also, the benefits of fatty acids are well known for their possitive effect on the look of your skin. There are cosmetic products that use these components; you can apply them on your stretch marks regularly until their effect starts showing. Remember, getting rid of stretch marks requires being patient and perseverant.

Preventing stretch marks

It isn’t possible to predict whether or not you will get stretch marks after pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy beauty secrets revealed that some women can get stretch marks out of other circumstances (i. e. physical growth) but not pregnancy, or vice versa. There are genetic components implied, but the truth is that stretch marks are impossible to foresee. All you can do is take preventive measures to try to protect your skin from the effects of sudden stretching.

The best way to prevent stretch marks is keeping your skin properly hydrated. A moisturized skin is much less likely to rip and get scarred this way. Drink enough water for your body weight every day, especially if you are expecting a baby. Moisturizing creams and gel, and other products like aloe vera gel, will also be of great help. However, remember that some topic products are contraidicated for pregnant women, because excessive absorption can damage the fetus. If you are pregnant and want to prevent stretch marks, you should see your dermatologist and ask for some advice and for treatments that are safe for your baby.

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